Author Nicky Wooten of Colton, Ca where she lives with her husband and two children shares with us about her detailed and gritty yet real and heartfelt book 'Sentenced at Birth'.
How are you today Nicky?
I’m doing absolutely wonderful today, the sun is shining and God is wonderful. Thanks for asking.
Where were you raised and what type of childhood did you have?
I was raised in Brooklyn, NY with my five brothers. We were raised in a single parent home and weren’t always fortunate to have the things we wanted but always had the things we needed. When you’re a child most of the materialistic crap doesn’t matter. I had my brothers and my four cousins who would be there practically every day so life was grand to us then. We’d play skelly in the middle of the street, manhunt, suicide, stick ball, etc. We made the best out of what we had and had fun doing it.
Were you a creative child? If so, why types of creative things did you do?
I was a very creative child. I had an imagination out of this world, lol. I use to write poetry and music but I also used to run around the house in actress mode all day, practicing for my big debut. I was so dramatic.
Was writing something you did regularly?
Yes it was. I knew from early on writing was what I wanted to do, so everyday I’d sit down and write a poem or two then later on that evening I’d recite them for my grandmother, her friends and anyone else that wanted to hear it.LOL
You told me that you self published. Let’s talk about that. What made you decide to self publish?
Well I decided to self publish for a number of reasons but mainly because I felt I needed creative control over my writing. Everything I write is personal to me. After you spend so much time on something it becomes apart of you in one way or another and for someone you just met to come in and gain full control of it; that I just couldn’t fathom. I can accept constructive criticism but I can’t allow someone to tell me what I meant to say or what I should have said.
How was that experience for you?
At times it was stressful because as a self published author you’re entitled to do all marketing and promoting on your own. Some times my husband and I would stay up all night trying to find different avenues to promote “Sentenced At Birth”, and some nights he’d be up by his self marketing the book. At the same time it was great going the independent route because you’re not on anyone’s schedule but your own and again you have creative control; which is a major plus for me. So I would say I enjoyed the experience and thank God for my husband because he made it so much easier.
Would you do it again?
I would. If I found a publisher that was willing to allow me to go there creatively without interruption then I might consider the traditional route, but I must say I love the freedom.
'Sentenced at Birth’. Part One was a very heart wrenching read. There are things that many people will identify with and many won't. But most have definitely heard about.
What made you decide to write this book?
Honestly I can’t say; the story actually picked me. I sat down intending to write something totally different. I had a story in my head already and it had absolutely nothing to do with what appeared on the first few pages, but when I began to read what I was writing I loved it. Not to mention the characters began to take on a life of their own.
Is any part of it something you have experienced firsthand or are the stories derived from personal observances?
The story is not my own personal story but a very close friend of mine whom I have lost all contact with (because of this thing called life) went through a similar upbringing. Many nights I would sit with her and cry wishing it was something I could do to make it better.
The Mother, drug addict, Pristine and the daughter, Chastity both hold very strong characters in the book. What was it like to get that from head to paper?
That was a major task all in itself. At times I felt like I was going crazy. Pristine and Chasity were real in my mind, I would actually hear their conversations and that was how I would write out their dialog. Sounds kind of crazy but it’s the truth.
(LOL we understand that one!)
How long did it take you to work this story out?
It took me almost a year to complete it because I kept going back in and changing it up.
What do you want the readers to take away from the story?
We know the affect drugs have on the person that’s using them but I would love for people to recognize the affect it has on the people behind the scenes, like the children. Most kids don’t speak out against abuse especially when it’s coming from their parents for two reasons. One being they want to protect their parents by all means and, secondly, because their scared. I want people to realize that mental and emotional abuse is just as harmful as physical and every child who has a parent on drugs is being abused in one way or another. People like to turn a blind eye to things they feel don’t affect them but children can’t fight for themselves. They need someone to stand up and protect them. I just want people to experience the truth through my writing and maybe just maybe the characters will become real to them and they’ll feel compelled to help.
Are you working on sequels?
I’m working on the sequel for “Sentenced At Birth” right now. I’m thinking of calling it “Still Sentenced” or “Sentenced At Birth, the saga continues”
What has writing this book taught you or done for you?
It has taught me that dreams do come true and anything worth having is worth working and waiting for. I sound like a hallmark card….LOL
Do you plan to write other books?
Of course, this is just the beginning for me, I have an idea in my head for another book. I’m looking forward to starting that story. I’m thinking maybe I’ll entitle that 'Father’s Ruined'
Do you have other creative outlets? If so, what are they?
I love to write poetry and go to open mic nights, get on stage and just release. It helps to relieve built up tension or writer’s block.
What Inspiration would you offer to others out there who are working to become published writers?
I would tell them to remain patient and allow God to work. Things take time but have faith and never give up.
What is your website address so the readers can find you?
www.sentencedatbirth.com and www.nickywooten.com
Thank you Nicky. Have a colorful day!
Note: Part One and a sample copy of Part I of 'Sentenced at Birth' are available on Amazon.